This is a great pattern, and one of the few times that I’ve ever made the garment twice. Not only that, I remade it within months of making the first one!
Fabric: Short sleeved version – cotton shirting. Long sleeved version – polyester jacquard. Both are from C&M Textiles of Ottawa (and Montreal). I used silk taffeta left over from other projects for the support for the sleeve heads.
I modified the bodice using the dartless FBA technique described for Closet Case patterns’ Kalle blouse. The only thing worth noting that isn’t clear about those instructions is that you have to keep the side seam the original length, and draw a gentle line to the lengthened portion near centre front – in other words you’re chopping the dart off from the hem rather than folding a section out at the bust.
The only other adjustment is that the instructions for the hook and eye at the neck is backwards; it constantly undoes. You need the hook to face the garment.
It’s a well-drafted pattern. Carefully mark all the pleats, etc, and it’ll come together properly.
The shoulder is sewn on to the bodice front unusually – you overlay the bias-bound piece, and stitch by hand in the ditch. Carefully place it based on the pattern markings, and it really does work well. It did take a little extra hand-finishing, and I double-stitched to make it extra strong, but so far, so good.
I shortened the bodice slightly at centre front so that it wasn’t too much of a “poof”. (I also did a short-waisted adjustment, which shortened bodice front and back by 1″). The side zipper is hand-picked, with the lap facing the back.
Other than the pleats, it came together quite quickly.
I’m really happy with these dresses. They fit well, are really comfortable, and are flattering. I don’t normally like high-necked garments, but these are just low enough to be comfortable, sitting just at the collar bone. They’ve fast become favourites.
In these photos, I’ve worn the dresses with a belt. Since then, I’ve also worn the long sleeved one without a belt, and it looks good that way, as well. In fact, I wore it for a promo piece our Human Resources department is doing to encourage people to apply for jobs where I work – as soon as I get a good copy of the head shot, I’ll post it here!
Note: the long-sleeved version is worn with the sleeve pushed up your arm. The pattern has markings for a button, but I didn’t think it would look nice since the jacquard’s a little thicker than the cotton was. Perhaps because of its extra thickness, it worked out fine. It’s surprisingly comfortable and doesn’t “fall” down on you when wearing it at work.